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Gold hovers near 9-year high as virus fears drive safe-haven demand

Gold rose after the US dollar index fell to a more than four-month low against a basket of major currencies.

[BENGALURU] Gold rose on Tuesday, hovering near a nine-year peak hit in the last session, as worries over a spike in Covid-19 cases and expectations for inflation from more economic stimulus measures boosted demand for the safe-haven metal.

Spot gold was up 0.1 per cent at US$1,817.23 per ounce by 3am GMT (11am SGT), after hitting its highest since September 2011 at US$1,820.06 on Monday. US gold futures were little changed at US$1,817.80.

"What's really driving gold market is stimulus and we are going to get more of it. It's the eye candy that's driving sentiment right now," said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at financial services firm AxiCorp.

European Union leaders appeared to near an agreement on Monday on a 750-billion-euro (S$1.19 trillion) stimulus plan for regional economies hit by the pandemic.

Adding to hopes for more economic stimulus, congressional Republicans announced plans to seek another US$1 trillion in coronavirus economic relief.

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Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures from central banks as these typically stoke inflation and the metal is widely viewed as a hedge against rising prices and currency debasement.

Rising coronavirus cases in the United States and elsewhere have intensified fears over global economic recovery, driving flows into safe-haven assets. Indicative of sentiment, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust rose 0.4 per cent to 1,211.86 tonnes on Monday.

Further helping gold, the US dollar index fell to a more than four-month low against a basket of major currencies. Silver also gained 0.2 per cent to US$19.95, its highest level since September 2016.

"Silver is starting to outperform gold here. On the one hand, it's obviously appreciating on the basis of increased appeal for precious metals," IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda said. "On top of that, there's likely to be an element of silver catching a bit on a rebound in global industrial activity."

Palladium was steady at US$2,055.35 per ounce, while platinum fell 0.3 per cent to US$841.57.


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